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- Never Events
Baltimore, MD: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Public Affairs; May 18, 2006.
This fact sheet provides information regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' initiative to better understand and minimize never events.
St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Department of Health; March 2019.
The National Quality Forum has defined 29 never events—patient safety problems that should never occur, such as wrong-site surgery and patient falls. Since 2003, Minnesota hospitals have been required to report such incidents. The 2018 report summarizes information about 384 adverse events that were reported and found pressure ulcers and invasive procedure events increased, while fall-related deaths decreased. Reports from previous years are also available.
O'Reilly KB. American Medical News. January 7, 2008.
This article discusses the evolving payer trend to withhold hospital reimbursement related to never events.
Journal Article > Review
Tishler CL, Reiss NS. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2009;31:103-109.
Suicide attempts by inpatients are considered a never event, and, as such, are also considered reportable sentinel events by the Joint Commission. This article reviews the suicide rate in hospitals, related risk factors, methods of suicidal behavior, factors that contribute to the event, and suggestions for prevention and risk assessment.
Journal Article > Commentary
Milstein A. N Engl J Med. 2009;360:2388-2390.
Never events represent a list of adverse events that are serious, unambiguous, and usually preventable. The National Quality Forum defined 28 never events in a 2007 consensus report that led to state mandates for reporting and financial implications for payment of services. This commentary discusses the context of these policy implications and how they are a small step toward motivating hospitals and clinicians to improve quality and safety.
Journal Article > Study
Potential unintended consequences due to Medicare's "No Pay for Errors Rule"? A randomized controlled trial of an educational intervention with internal medicine residents.
Mookherjee S, Vidyarthi AR, Ranji SR, Maselli J, Wachter RM, Baron RB. J Gen Intern Med. 2010;25:1097-1101.
A 2008 policy change by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) eliminated reimbursement for certain preventable errors, including selected never events and hospital-acquired infections. The impact of the policy was debated, including the ability of providers and systems to accurately identify conditions present on admission. This study involved an educational intervention to assess the policy's impact on clinical practice among trainees. In a series of presented clinical vignettes, members of the intervention group, who received education about the new policy as part of the study, were less likely than participants who received no such education to select the most clinically appropriate response. While all the trainees acknowledged responsibility to understand CMS documentation rules and felt poorly trained to do so, their responses to the vignettes raised concern about the potential harm and unintended consequences caused by unnecessary testing and procedures that may result from the policy. The implications of the CMS policy are further discussed in an AHRQ WebM&M perspective.